Pensacola Beach, Florida — During the 2012 Sea Turtle Triathlon in Pensacola, Marines helped carry a young boy over the finish line after his prosthetic leg broke.
11-year old Ben Baltz of Valparaiso, Florida, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right leg and his fibula and his tibia had to be removed, according to a CNN iReport. Baltz walks with a mechanical knee and a prosthetic walking leg, which he switches out when he plays sports.
On Sunday, Ben competed in the Sea Turtle Kids Triathlon in Pensacola. He had completed the 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike ride and half of the one-mile run when a screw on his leg came loose and his prosthetic leg broke in half.
As the boy lay on the ground, Private First Class Matthew Morgan picked up the boy and put him on his shoulders. Surrounded by his fellow Marines, Matthew carried Ben on his back so he could finish the race.
Ben’s mom told CNN he was discouraged he wasn’t able to finish on his own, and a bit embarrassed that he had to be carried. However, his parents told him he was an inspiration to a lot of people that day.
“We want to give him the message that he can do anything, and he has an inspirational story, and he just needs to be thankful that he is able to do it because there are a lot of kids out there that are still fighting cancer. We just want him to get out there and participate in life.”